Round hatch rate

Hen and chicksTurken chick

Our last hatch of the
year netted 11 chicks out of 20 eggs.  I ordered the

from the same place I bought my cuckoo marans eggs, and they were all
supposed to be black australorps this time.  Imagine my surprise
to see this little naked-necked chick — must have gotten a turken
mixed in by mistake!  Regardless of variety, this batch of chicks
seemed to be the perkiest yet, with every chick that pipped hatching
and staying alive.

Hatch rateEven
though my hatch
was a hair worse this time compared to the cuckoo
marans hatch rate from last time, I was happy to get so many living
chicks.  One day into the incubation process, we had a two hour
power outage, and the temperature in the incubator dropped to 84
degrees.  Sure enough, when I
the unhatched eggs
six of them were “yolkers”, meaning that the eggs either were infertile
or the chicks died within the first few days.  Since the fertility
rate of the cuckoo marans eggs I bought from the same hatchery was
100%, I figure the power outage was the obvious problem during hatch
3.  That’s good news because it means I would have had a 79% hatch
rate without the power outage — definite progress!

As you can tell from the
photo at the top of the page,
tricked our broody hen into taking on the mothering responsibilities

once the chicks were out of the shell.  The first month of our
chicks’ lives has been very problematic this year, with us losing
nearly a quarter of the chicks to power outages or predators, so I’m
hopeful the hen will do a better job.  Maybe by this time next
year, all of my experiments with the incubator will be moot and we’ll
have a broody hen doing all of the hard work for me.

Our chicks learned to drink from their poop-free
chicken waterer on day 1 with no prompting
from me.

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